March 4, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
The National Aeronautic Association will award the 2009 Robert J. Collier Trophy on May 13 to the International Space Station. The award is for the “design, development, and assembly” of the structure that promises new discoveries and a new level of international cooperation.
The nomination for the award went to a team that included NASA, Boeing, Charles Stark Draper Labs, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, United Space Alliance, and United Technologies. NASA teams have previously received the award 14 times, most recently in 1993 for an early repair of the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA’s astronauts have since repaired and upgraded the Space Telescope again. The award was established in 1911.
Other 2009 nominees for the 525-pound Collier Trophy were Aircell; Ares I-X Flight Test and Ares I Design Teams; C-5M Super Galaxy; the Kandahar Airfield Operations Team; the MC-12W Project Liberty Enterprise Team; the SpaceX Falcon 1 Development Team; and John Warner and the Excalibur Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle.
Glenn Curtiss won the first Collier Trophy for the development of the hydroaeroplane. He won it again the following year for the single-pontoon seaplane and the flying boat. Orville Wright had to wait until 1913 when he won for the development of an automatic stabilizer. The award was created by Robert J. Collier, publisher of Collier’s Weekly magazine and owner of a Wright Model B. He flew it as a sport and was president of the Aero Club of America, which first awarded the trophy.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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